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Summer 2008

Regulars

Editorial
Astrobiology in the Nordic Countries, by Nils Holm

Radio Astrobiology

Axel Brandenburg

Host Simon Mitton Interviews Axel Brandenburg

Events

Links

Europe: In the News

 

Features

Nordic Special:
Through a Glass Darkly
Organisms colonize glass in order to extract energy, “eating” metals such as iron or manganese contained within.
By Leslie Mullen

Plucking Daisyworld
On the hypothetical planet Daisyworld, flowers control the climate. Black daisies absorb sunlight and warm the planet.
By Leslie Mullen

Seeing Life in Viruses
We all try to avoid viruses due to the havoc they can wage on our health. Some viruses do more than create temporary discomfort.
By Leslie Mullen

Iceland Brings Astrobiology Down to Earth
If you want to learn about the role of water on Mars and Europa, Iceland is a good place to start.
By Simon Mitton

Mini-Sub for Tight Spaces
The water locked underneath icecaps or glaciers can tell us about our planet's past and its possibly warmer future. Similar environments on distant worlds could tell us whether life can originate in these harsh conditions. To study the icy depths, a Swedish team of researchers is designing a tiny submersible that can slip down a narrow borehole.
By Michael Schirber

Interviews

Mars Research in Polar Bear Country
Hans Amundsen
Hans Amundsen is a Norwegian geologist and the expedition leader of AMASE (Arctic Mars Analog Svalbard Expedition).


How Deep is the Gene Pool?
Anthony Poole
Anthony Poole, a molecular biologist at Stockholm University in Sweden discusses early life.


Earth’s Oldest Oils
Tomas Hode
Thomas Hode, cofounder of SWAN speaks about his research in astrobiology.


Radio Astrobiology
Axel Brandenburg
Host Simon Mitton interviews Axel Brandenburg, an astrobiologist at the Nordita research facility at Stockholm, Sweden.

Retrospections

Fiction’s Most Realistic Vision of Our Astrobiological Future?
Professor Mark Brake
Visionary science writer Sir Arthur C Clarke, author of more than 100 books, died recently. Professor Mark Brake critically assess the science and culture of arguably his greatest work, 2001: A Space Odyssey.

Life Underground
Professor Mark Brake
Notes on Life Underground: Journey to the center of the Earth through the eyes of Nordic science fiction writer, Ludvig Holberg.

Astrobiology in a Cold Climate: The Scandinavian Connection
Martin Griffiths
Astrobiology in a Cold Climate: The Scandinavian Connection.

Pondering PigDuck
Leslie Mullen
“That is the Pig Duck. It is a Work of Art”

Astrobiology Rap
Jonathan Chase
“The ‘Astrobiology’ rap was written by Jon for the Astrobiology Magazine European Edition (AMEE). ”

Expeditions

Swashbuckling Scientists Discover Northern Vents
By Lee Pullen
Researchers exploring the ocean floor along the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge between Greenland and Norway have discovered hydrothermal vents that support an extremophile ecosystem. The finds support the idea that biological communities could exist around vents on other worlds.

Cliffbot Goes Climbing
By Henry Bortman
Many scientifically interesting sites on Mars lie on the steep faces of cliffs and craters, out of reach of present-day technology. A group of NASA engineers has developed a three-rover system, modeled on tether-aided human climbing, that may make these locations accessible.

The Iceland Diaries Part 1

(Feb 11, 2008): Iceland, one of the most active volcanic places in the world. In some ways, Iceland resembles what the young Earth was like, so studying modern bacteria that colonize Iceland’s rocks may provide clues about early life.

The Iceland Diaries Part 2

(Feb 14, 2008): Iceland, one of the most active volcanic places in the world. In some ways, Iceland resembles what the young Earth was like, so studying modern bacteria that colonize Iceland’s rocks may provide clues about early life.

AMASE 2008 Blog

With a unique combination of volcanoes, hot springs and permafrost, the Bockfjord Volcanic Complex on the Arctic islands of Svalbard is the only place on Earth with carbonate deposits identical to carbonates in the Martian meteorite ALH84001.

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